We’re Obsessed with The Citizenry and You Should Be Too

Have you ever traveled abroad and discovered a beautiful, locally made furniture, accessories or art, but had no way to get it back home? The founders of The Citizenry,  Carly Nance and Rachel Bentley, decided to combine their love of far away places and beautiful things, all while supporting small artisans at the same time. Their vision was to focus on a new part of the world each season by bringing handcrafted items that represent cultural history and keep ancient techniques alive to us! The Citiznery’s pieces have combined beautiful craftsmanship and elegant design. But most importantly, they also support The Citizenry’s goal to make a greater impact on the communities they work with. I love stumbling upon beautiful pieces that have an equally lovely story behind them!

We were lucky enough to chat with Carly and Rachel as they took us on a narrative journey to Argentina where their super chic leather butterfly chair is designed and handcrafted. To say we are obsessed is an understatement. Here’s their story…

the-citizenry-apartment-34the-citizenry-apartment-34-2

How The Citizenry Was Born

Rachel: The idea really came from our own frustrations trying to find beautifully crafted items for our own homes. We were looking for high quality, handcrafted pieces, from a company serious about social impact and sustainability, at a price that didn’t break the bank.

Carly: We started thinking about the things in our homes that we treasured, and all those items had a story behind them – either the story of the maker or the place where it was from. We wanted to build a brand that celebrates those people and the stories behind the products. We know everyone can’t hop on a plane to Peru or Argentina to go shopping, so we decided to create the next best thing online: the experience of traveling abroad, shopping back alley markets, and accessing the highest quality materials and makers from around the world, at home.

the-citizenry-apartment-34-3the-citizenry-apartment-34-5the-citizenry-apartment-34-10

What Influences Design

Carly: Each season we create a new collection inspired by a different corner of the world. We love taking a technique that’s been around for centuries and juxtaposing it with our more modern, minimal style.

Rachel: Working with beautiful, natural materials is also really influential. We pick geographies based on the quality of a particular natural resource. For instance, in Argentina, we work exclusively with the most premium leathers sourced from the rich grasslands of the “pampas” and use vegetable-based tannins to soften and enrich its natural beauty.

the-citizenry-apartment-34-8the-citizenry-apartment-34-4the-citizenry-apartment-34-7

The Story Behind the Butterfly Chair

Carly: We went to Argentina to create a statement piece in leather. After spending time in Buenos Aires, we knew we wanted to create our own interpretation of the iconic butterfly chair. Since the design was originally created by two Argentina architects, it seemed only fitting. So we set out to find the best leather workers & chair makers in Buenos Aires. When we met Santiago, the Lead Designer behind the Palermo Leather Workshop, we knew we’d found the perfect partner.

It really is a collaborative design process with our artisan partners. We both bring ideas, pattern and colors to the table to work together to make something we’re all really proud of. It took a year to perfect the copper finish of our butterfly chair – impossible without Santiago’s expertise and commitment – but it’s become one of our absolute favorite pieces in the collection.

Rachel: It’s a small workshop on a quiet, residential street. You enter through this unassuming door to find a workshop with leather working talent like you’ve never seen. The men who craft these chairs are smart, so entertaining, and of course, were models in a previous life. It is Argentina after all! And like all of our partners, they really so become our friends. Any time we go to Argentina we make sure to set aside time for these epic steak dinners, accompanied by more than a few bottles of malbec, at Don Julio’s or La Brigada… just to catch up!

the-citizenry-apartment-34-2

A Favorite Travel Memory

Carly: One of my favorite travel experiences was finding and visiting the Lurin Artisan Cooperative, our weaving partners that create some of my favorite rugs (the Estrellas & Cielo Azul) in the collection. They’re a tiny, incredibly talented group that does everything from start to finish – from picking berries to make the dyes, to hand-spinning the wool and hand-looming these, huge beautiful pieces.

Each rug takes about six weeks to complete. Watching this group execute every detail, you really start to understand why. After spending a day with them, talking about how important it was for them to keep their culture alive through this craft, we knew we had to shine a light on their story and talent.

the-citizenry-apartment-34-9

We could listen to countless hours of storytelling from these two. The people behind these beautifully crafted pieces The Citizenry have collected just makes them that much more special. If you have yet to check out their gorgeous store, head to The Citizenry now. Read more about the quality and details behind each throw, rug and chair, watch videos from their artisan partners and while you’re there, enjoy an exclusive Apartment 34 discount on everything in the shop. Click HERE for exclusive offer!

P.S. We’ve been working with The Citizenry first hand on a very exciting collaboration. Announcement coming very soon!

images c/o The Citizenry

This post is in partnership with The Citizenry. All thoughts and opinions are our own. Thank you for supporting posts that keep Apartment 34’s doors open. 

Idea to Steal: Chic Accessories Organization

Everyone understands the importance of a good spring cleaning, but why only reserve a fresh start to once a year?? The change in weather already forces you to swap your shorts for sweaters so while you’re knee deep in your closet, might as well keep the momentum goin’, right? I, for one, know that my house needs a serious deep clean and this cute and simple Idea to Steal has me excited to purge and organize!

WardrobeOrganizing_walk-in-closet

I love the idea of using a super chic brass towel rack to organize your belts, jewelry and sunnies! These are some of the most awkward accessories to keep tidy. Belts don’t keep shape when you roll them, necklaces get tangled and sunnies just take up so much counter space. This simple fix would SO solve my problem of always hunting for my latest fave pair of sunglasses!

I know I’m not the only on out there with this problem. How do you manage all those random bits and baubles? If you need more Ideas to Steal to help organize your life, check them out here!

via stylizimo

New House Update: Fixating on Bathroom Fixtures

Now that we’ve shared the big news that we are officially San Francisco home owners {eek!} I’m starting the exciting, anxiety and pressure ridden renovation process! We just got the plans back from our architect {we’ll be sharing them soon!} and they are so much more than I could have ever dreamed up on my own. While the removal of walls and genius layouts make me want to move in yesterday, the real fun is going to be the design process. Even though demo hasn’t started yet, the fear of time flying by and the excitement of finally decorating a place of all our own isn’t letting me sit still. Thankfully, San Francisco is full of great design stores and show rooms to keep me busy!

bathroom-tiles-apartment-34-

The big question keeping me up at night right now is bathroom design. There are so many choices to make in such a small space! Do we do tile or marble, stone or something else {??} on the floors? And what about walls?? What about fixtures? Colors? Textures? Oh my. To center myself and start to focus, I decided to simply start somewhere! You often need that initial nugget of inspiration to give you a direction. So this weekend I ventured into the Ferguson Kitchen and Bath showroom on Valencia Street to begin the daunting task of narrowing things down. Even though my secret Pinterest boards are full of great general inspiration, there really is nothing like going in and seeing a product in person. After all, I’m by no means a professional interior designer so seeing scale and actually feeling things out really helps my frantic brain focus!

bathroom-inspiration-apartment-34

I went in looking for something modern to juxtapose the classic architecture of the house; that I knew. I was immediately super impressed with the DXV by American Standard line. They definitely were the most modern of the showroom. I loved how streamlined and beautiful each piece looked – two key elements to my aesthetic! And I fell in love with their Free Standing Tub! Its sleek shape and clean lines had my name written all over it. Complete with a crazy luxurious floor-mounted faucet, I see many bubble baths in my future!

dxv-american-standard

Here’s what I’m loving right now for the bathroom:

master-bath-essentials

 Get Your Shop On:

> Vintage Pendant 3-Arm Chandelier
> Slim Round Shower Head 
> Percy Wall Mounted Vessel Faucet
> Lyndon Free Standing Soaking Tub 
> Aesop Hand Soap
> Dot & Bo Woven Ottoman 

While I might have set my bathroom design direction, count on me to ask for your much-needed opinion in the next couple of months of renovation. I’m going to need everyone to weigh in as much as possible! For now, I’m slowly starting to pull moodboards together for the rest of our rooms. More on those coming soon!

image 1 via Brittany Ambridge Photography // 2 via Atlanta Homes Magazine

This post is in partnership with DXV by American Standard. Discover the DXV collections. Thoughts and opinions are 100% our own. Thanks for supporting collaborations and projects we’re excited about and that help keep Apartment 34’s doors open!